Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bruins vs. Sabres: Takeaways

From tonight's 3-2 SO loss:

- Manny Fernandez bought himself a little more time as #1A, and looked a bit more like his old self through most of the game.

- The night's big head-to-head matchup was Vanek vs. Chara. The Mountain Man won the battle in regulation, as Vanek took only two shots and was generally not much of a factor. But Vanek scored in the shootout after Chara whiffed on a slapshot. Barring injury this will be Chapter One in a 6-game war of attrition.

- David Krejci is better than advertised. At the end of last season he was making progress in spite of consistency issues. This year he's a much more complete player, and does all the little things that make coaches smile on the inside.

- The Bruins continue to have an awful time getting the puck into the net. For the second night in a row they outplayed their opponent through most of the game, led in shots and chances, and set up numerous quality opportunities near the crease. But for the second night in a row, they were stymied by a hot goaltender and some unfriendly posts.

- The Bruins did better in the faceoff circle, with Bergeron winning 13 of 19 and almost everyone else better than .500. They still seem to lose the key draws, which takes a big toll in the long run.

- Mark Stuart continues to underperform. He has 0 points and at least 2 ill-timed penalties so far this season. Tonight his unnecessary penalty immediately following the 2-0 lead may have cost his team a win. I wouldn't be opposed to replacing him with Matt Hunwick if this continues.

- Phil Kessel is a beast this year.

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